Friday, June 8, 2007

The Gospel according to Proverbs?

I think of the Bible as God’s house of Truth.
The books of the Bible are its windows.
Each book provides another view into God’s Truth, just as walking around your neighbour’s house and looking into the windows allows you to view the inside of the house from different angles.
All views together give you a complete understanding of what the ‘house’ looks like and what it contains.

Proverbs is typically thought of as a collection of wise sayings, practical advice for successful living.
But it is a 'window' into God’s ‘house of Truth’ , and therefore looking into Proverbs we will see the same truths we see looking into the other 'windows'.
If you were looking into the Proverbs window would you expect to be able to present the gospel message to the non-believer standing beside you?


Let’s see.

The first step toward salvation is recognizing that we have a choice to make.
God allows man to choose between good and evil, for Him or against Him.
“The curse of the Lord is on the house of the wicked, but He blesses the habitation of the just!" (Prov. 3:33)
Every man must make a choice. Even if he does not actively CHOOSE evil, it is the default decision. Each choice carries with it life-defining consequences.
“For the upright will dwell in the land… but the wicked will be cut off from the earth.” (Prov.2:21,22)

The first step toward God is ‘to humble ourselves’ (James 4:10), recognizing that we cannot be saved by our own works, salvation is only by God’s grace. For the grace of God that brings salvation….” (Titus 2:11)
Proverbs agrees.
“Surely He scorns the scornful, but gives GRACE to the humble.” (Prov.3:33,34)
In humbling ourselves we recognize our own unworthiness. We recognize that we have gone our own rebellious way. “There is a way which seems right to a man. But its end is the way of death.(Prov. 14:12)
We cry out to God acknowledging our sin before Him. “Who can say, ‘I have cleansed my heart, I am pure from my sin?’ “ (Prov. 20:9)

Filled with remorse , we obey God’s call to repentance.
We can confess our sin to a merciful and forgiving God. “He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper. But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion.” (Prov. 28:13)

In coming to God we must believe that He is who He says He is and that He will hear us and accept us. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and turn away from evil.” (Prov. 3:5-7)

There is only one way to reconciled to God, by accepting His free gift of salvation.
The sin debt we owe we can never pay off – our only hope is the free gift of God.
“The one who despises the word will be in DEBT to it, But the one who fears the commandment will be REWARDED!” (Prov. 13:13) "The reward of humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, honor and LIFE” (Prov. 22:4)
The one who refuses God is responsible to pay his debt, but the one who chooses God is ‘rewarded’ – a free gift.
Do the above Proverbs verses not remind you of Romans 3:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life,” ?
And in Prov. 3:35 we are told that “the wise shall inherit glory, but shame shall be the legacy of fools.”
See the parallel between this Prov. Verse and the verse in Romans 2:7,8, “…those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory… but to those who ,,,…obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath.”

When we know that we have freely received the gift of God are encouraged to ‘grow the fruit of the Spirit’ in our life. If we do, our desire will be to share the good news with others. “Freely you have received, freely give.” (Matt. 10:8)
Prov. 11:30 also encourages us to do just that. “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life and he who wins souls is wise.”

God’s heart desire is for man to be saved, to be reconciled to Him….and this theme is repeated over and over again throughout scripture.
Is it surprising then, that Proverbs , the ‘how-to’ book for sucessful living, would include the gospel message?


Lovella said...

Nothing should surprise us about God's Work. He is after all the master author.
Have fun with your grand daughters.

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

Is the unusual flower a spider wort? Very pretty. How is the puppy doing? And wouldn't it be great to see the little fawn after it is born?

Julie said...

Thank-you, Jill.. I believe you are right about the plant being a spiderwort..I will name the photo!
The puppy is amazing... very sweet personality.
We have not seen the fawn this year which is unusual - but there is developement going on up above us.
But the last two years the babies were born in our back yard and we saw them often... very, very, cute!!!